The River

Wherever the mind wanders,
like water it takes the easiest path.

But just because a river flows
doesn’t mean it’s the shortest, best, or truest path.

When we see a river…
or waterfall, stream, or flowing water
we know we can’t move the water with our hands.

We must dig a path, create a space, or provide a cup
somehow indirectly, we provide a place for the water to go
and very naturally it continues to flow.

But a man must work for many hours to dig a space for a lake
Or create a trench where a river can grow
And just like our thoughts
our attempts at re-directing it can always go terribly slow.

But hour by hour, day by day
with continual effort the river begins to create a fork in the road
until finally the day will come
when one riverbed dries up and the other one flows.

So it is often that I have seen people try
to escape the labyrinth river of their thoughts:
those images of shattered windows and burning houses
or shooting people and murdering spouses
jumping out in front of cars…

or death by a million small lashes
weeping, misery, cold-alone in a barren room
shouting, yelling, anger, at the grievances of the world
outrage contempt, jealousy in the fragile heart
and empty, walking, tired, through the concrete Earth…

when it would be easier instead
to simply redirect and build
a new maze and line it with flowers
just dig a path
create a space
and work the hours that will let a new river grow.

And so it seems that many of us have these thoughts
and to each of us a choice to make
of what thoughts we’d like to change…
for the lonely man who strikes a smile when he walks alone
for the saddest orphan who loves all others despite his remorse
for the unappreciated mother who bears her family’s pain
for the saints that continue on when the world won’t change…

when anger, rage, and all-consuming fire fills their minds
or wicked, terrible, murderous thoughts towards others fire
when love and faith are too far gone
and being normal is all you want
when every moment death reminds
that everyone you love will be killed off soon
when things could take a better turn
but reality says that’s just absurd…

it’s here I see these kindred souls
who let not their thoughts stop them from their hard work
it’s they that choose to follow faith
and continue on despite the worst of days
though weary and beat and awful thoughts remain
a solemn decree to work alone each day
to dig a path, create a space
for their thoughts await a shining day
when love and grace is the river they’ve made.

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